I love me some tofu. My usual go-to method of cooking tofu is baking it since it’s easy and no fuss, but I was intrigued when I saw this recipe in our favorite magazine/cookbook, Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen)for crispy, fried tofu. Frying the tofu was surprisingly easy and gave the tofu a great texture.
The rice bowls were filled with flavor (that vinegar/mirin mix is one I will be using again) and the whole thing came together perfectly. This would be a great lunch if you have the time, since the tofu was best right after frying it. The whole thing only takes 20 minutes to pull together if you have cooked rice and drained tofu, if not just give yourself a little time to prep.
I also love that this bowl can be completely personalized. I would maybe try baking the tofu instead of frying it for a healthier option, possible adding different veggies and playing around with using the nori in whole sheets and wrapping up each piece of tofu like sushi. Lots of options!
Crispy Tofu Brown Rice Bowls
Rice and Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest plus 1 teaspoon juice
- 2 cups warm, cooked brown rice
Tofu and Vegetables:
- 7 ounces medium firm tofu
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 sheet nori, crumbled
- 1/2 avocado, sliced thin
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced thin
- 1 scallion, sliced thin
- 2 radishes, sliced thin (I omitted since I’m not a big radish person)
For the rice and dressing:
- Combine vinegar and mirin in a small bowl. Measure 2 tablespoons vinegar mixture into second small bowl, whisk in soy sauce, ginger, and orange zest and juice and reserve for serving.
- In a medium bowl, add rice and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup vinegar mixture on top. Toss gently to combine. Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the tofu and vegetables:
- Line a baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Slice tofu crosswise into 3/4 inch slabs. Slice each slab in half to form 2 pieces. Spread tofu on prepared sheet and let drain for 20 minutes. Gently press tofu dry with paper towels. (Koko hint: you can also dry the tofu in a block using this cool contraption and then cut it. I usually drain my tofu for 2 hours using this method.)
- Whisk cornstarch and cornmeal together in a shallow dish. Season tofu with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Working with 2 pieces at a time, coat tofu thoroughly with cornstarch mixture, pressing to help it adhere, then transfer to a plate.
- Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully lay tofu in skillet and cook until crisp and slightly golden on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Divide rice between 2 serving bowls, sprinkle with half of nori, if using, and top with tofu, avocado, cucumber and radishes, if using. Sprinkle with scallion and drizzle with reserved dressing. Serve with remaining nori.
Adapted from Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen)